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By JAMES LINE
Special to The Trimble Banner
Trimble County High chalked up its second win of the season Friday night at the annual Bedford Bank Bowl, in only their third game this year. The Raiders delivered a stunning blow to the Paris Greyhounds, with a final score of 24 to 20.
Paris High School, having won one out of two games this season, instilled a bit of pre-game anxiety in the Trimble team. “I’ve heard they’re really fast,” mentioned junior lineman Tyler Drumm. “But we’ll come out on defense, stop them, and end with a win.”
Assistant Coach Chris Yates explained the Raiders’ chances, saying “As long as we contain their studs - their biggest, fastest, strongest players - we’ll do fine.”
The few minutes after kickoff were tense, featuring brisk attempts by both teams to gain the upper hand. Driving hard against the deadlock, the Greyhounds inched ever closer to the Raider end zone. Displaying strong determination, senior linebacker Stuart Barnes held them back with a goal line stand, followed up with dogged runs by junior quarterback Kyle Sparks and junior running back Aaron Blanton.
Early in the second quarter, Sparks scored a three-yard touchdown for Trimble, supplemented by a successful two point-conversion. Unfortunately for Paris, a Greyhound player suffered a leg injury midway through the quarter.
The Raider drive lost momentum as well, and Trimble was soon “pinned against its own goal line,” as Trimble’s administrative assistant Angela Pacheco described.
Breaking out, Sparks ran an astounding 65 yards for a touchdown, only for a penalty to be called on the play. A reinvigorated Paris won a touchdown just before Sparks attained another score for the Raiders, along with an added two points.
With the halftime score set at 16 to 6 in favor of Trimble, Tyler Drumm revised his earlier statement, saying that the Raider offense would “wear them down.”
Fellow junior Trent Taylor added, “I was expecting a really close game right now, a tied game actually. I’m surprised at how well we’re doing. We’re sticking with them.”
The Greyhounds launched the second half with a touchdown and two additional points. Trimble responded with a quarterback sack by Stuart Barnes, returning possession to Trimble. Plowing into the fourth quarter, Kyle Sparks repeatedly pressed against the Greyhound line, finally scoring a third touchdown, followed by a successful two point-conversion. With the scoreboard seesawing back and forth, the Greyhounds repeated Sparks’ achievements, winning eight points for Paris. With minutes left in the final quarter, Aaron Blanton recovered a fumble from Paris, sealing the game’s final score.
Afterward, Bedford Loan and Deposit Bank announced its awards for this year’s Bank Bowl. Nate Stevens received the “Best Offensive Player” award for Paris; freshmen Brady Mahoney and David Marsh, and juniors Colin Wise and Brian Webster were rewarded as Trimble’s greatest offensive players. For an outstanding defense, the awards went to Greyhound Malik Washington and Raider Stuart Barnes. Trimble’s Head Coach William Blair received the Coach’s Award, and Kyle Sparks was honored with the “Star of the Game” award.
Praising his team after the game, Blair reminded the Raiders that they’ve “been a good team. They’ve [Paris] got some good players, some good athletes. But we stuck to our plan and we held through.” Compared to last year’s sole win of the entire season, this year is looking to be a memorable one.
Trimble County plays against Eminence this Friday, Sept. 9 on home turf in Bedford.